According to Congressman Rob Andrews, residents of New Jersey have benefited from $1.34 billion thus far in foreclosure relief as a result of a landmark mortgage abuse settlement. This debt relief has been made available to residents following a lawsuit against five of the largest mortgage servicers in the state. According to the suit, these servicers were guilty of violating lending and consumer protection laws, and they are required to make $25 billion total available to consumers via forgiveness of unfair debt and penalties.
People living in New Jersey have used over $1 billion dollars of this settlement to change the terms of their mortgages, reduce monthly payments and receive debt relief if they owe more money on their homes than they were worth. New Jersey homeowners are eligible for this relief if they did not sign bank documents in the presence of an official witness, their bank made factual errors on foreclosure documents or the bank foreclosed on their homes without verifying they owed money.
In addition, the mortgage services have agreed to use $1.5 billion to compensate people who lost their homes due to wrongful foreclosure. It is expected that checks for these families will be mailed beginning in the middle of 2013.
Foreclosure can sometimes be an unfortunate side effect of being deeply in debt, and at times, bankruptcy may be able to help someone keep his or her home. When people are struggling to make mortgage payments, they may be able to benefit from speaking to a bankruptcy attorney who can guide them through the bankruptcy process and advise them on how to protect their assets.
Source: Real Estate Rama, “Congressman Andrews Announces $1.34 Billion Dollars to New Jersey in Foreclosure Relief So Far,” Feb. 25, 2013